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Old 07-06-2019, 06:00 PM   #1
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Motorhome Tailpipe Positioning - Design Flaw

Whether it's lack of vision by the Ford Motor Company or the RV manufacturer, they can't seem to see a risky design flaw they utilize with many motorhome tailpipes. The problem is that they bring the tailpipe out from underneath the motorhome body in front of and close to the left rear dual wheels. So if the tailpipe gets hit by any road hazard it can be driven under the dual wheels and torn loose from the exhaust system.

I now have a 2017 Jayco Precept and I was unable to avoid a rubber road construction cone placed too far out in the highway and came very close to experiencing an event like that I describe above. However, I previously owned a Georgetown motor home in which I a was unable to avoid a separated semi tire tread and it drove the tailpipe under the wheels. The pipe was ripped from the exhaust system and wrapped itself around the drive shaft which bent the shaft and left me stranded.

I would like to see the industry eliminate this tailpipe position design hazard. Meanwhile, I plan to try to add some reinforcement to my Jayco tailpipe's to hold it up more securely so that it does not get dragged downward if it contacts the tires.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:00 PM   #2
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Agreed. Had it happen to me on vacation. Had to get a sawsall and cut it off.
Glad it didn't tear up my driveshaft. Caught it quick enough to stop before it got too ugly but already slap ran it over.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:56 AM   #3
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Tailpipe placement has always stood out as a potential problem in my mind when we bought our 16 Precept 35US. There have been other issues with heat shields falling off.

I agree, not a great design from Ford.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:20 AM   #4
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I guess it depends on the rig. I have a Ford, and my tailpipe comes out behind the rear wheels.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:07 AM   #5
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Tailpipe placement has always stood out as a potential problem in my mind when we bought our 16 Precept 35US. There have been other issues with heat shields falling off.

I agree, not a great design from Ford.
It can't be too big of an issue, this is the first post on JOF and I've never seen it mentioned anywhere else. Also all the KODIAK SENECA's as well as other KODIAK chassis rigs were the same way without problems.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:12 PM   #6
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If you run into things on the road there is the possibility of something breaking. Why should a Ford chassis engineer take this into consideration? If they did the entire under chassis would be covered with a steel skid plate.
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Old 10-17-2019, 07:31 PM   #7
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Ford Engineers

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If you run into things on the road there is the possibility of something breaking. Why should a Ford chassis engineer take this into consideration? If they did the entire under chassis would be covered with a steel skid plate.
World-class engineering teams continuously look for ways to improve on their designs to make their products more robust. Ford is no exception. And customer feedback is one of the most effective ways to find potential design improvement suggestions/opportunities. Hopefully Ford and Jayco are monitoring blogs such as this for useful feed back.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:30 PM   #8
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World-class engineering teams continuously look for ways to improve on their designs to make their products more robust. Ford is no exception. And customer feedback is one of the most effective ways to find potential design improvement suggestions/opportunities. Hopefully Ford and Jayco are monitoring blogs such as this for useful feed back.



Maybe. But its all about $$. It's a Ford F53 chassis not a Freightliner. Remember the Pinto? World class engineering? No.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:54 AM   #9
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Maybe. But its all about $$. It's a Ford F53 chassis not a Freightliner. Remember the Pinto? World class engineering? No.
Ford currently holds the top spot in the nation in providing gas powered chassis for motorhomes because they do maintain a superior product. But as I previously said, I hope they are monitoring these blogs for customer suggestions and making design improvements to maintain that status. GM and Dodge could also be watching.

Meanwhile, until Ford and the RV manufactures recognize the risk, I want to raise the flag to owners of motor homes with tail pipes located in front of the rear dual wheels to take extra precautions to avoid coming anywhere close to objects on the road that could in anyway impact the tail pipe. Impact with even small pieces of semi tire tread or rubber highway markers can result in severe damage if the pipe gets dragged down under the wheels. My experience was the whole exhaust system rearward of the engine being torn loose and wrapped around and bending my drive shaft.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:31 AM   #10
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Maybe. But its all about $$. It's a Ford F53 chassis not a Freightliner. Remember the Pinto? World class engineering? No.
Not even about the money. It's a very common design. The SENECA on the FREIGHTLINER as well as GHOST on an INTERNATIONAL are both in front of the rear wheel.. I think you will see that on all the Super "C"s too.

As I said earlier, it must not be a problem....
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:18 PM   #11
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Tailpipes

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Not even about the money. It's a very common design. The SENECA on the FREIGHTLINER as well as GHOST on an INTERNATIONAL are both in front of the rear wheel.. I think you will see that on all the Super "C"s too.

As I said earlier, it must not be a problem....
I guess I haven't noticed the tailpipe designs in the bigger rigs.

I've had four different motorhomes over the years and they have all been Ford gassers. I had the problem on my last two rigs. I hit an unavoidable semi-tire tread with my previous Georgetown which tore the exhaust system loose. A car in front of me blocked my view so I swerved to the right but couldn't totally avoid the tread hitting my tailpipe on the driver's side. Next time I'll try to swerve left since there are not vulnerable extrusions on the right. In my latest rig, a Jayco Precept, one out of a line of rubber highway construction markers was too far into the single bypass lane and hit both my engine and auxiliary tailpipes. It broke the support strap supporting my auxiliary pipe and bashed my engine tailpipe against the rear duals. Fortunately the pipe did not get dragged down and under the tires like it did on my Georgetown. It did, however, get bent out-of-round some. At 65 mph it's amazing how much force a piece of rubber has. Also, the engine tailpipe is not solidly mounted so can be driven against the tires. I am planning to install some steel cable to tie the tailpipe up more securely to the frame so that, at least, it doesn't get dragged down under the tires if it gets knocked up against them.
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:13 PM   #12
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I guess I am lucky. My 2017 Greyhawk has the exhaust exiting behind the rear wheels on the passenger side. This is on a Ford chassis.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:26 PM   #13
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Yes. It's fortunate your rig has that feature. I've thought about having my tail pipe extended behind the wheels but it would be expensive. Installing some light weight cables to hold it up better will be my attempt to mitigate the risk. It's not so bad if it is knocked up against the wheels as long it doesn't get dragged down under them. Once the pipe is between those big tires and the road, it's going to tear the pipe loose.
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